Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deckin' These Here Halls.

If you haven't picked up on this yet, I an fond of hiding silly joke links within my posts. If you see bold type, click it. It's an "interactive" blog. And this one post in particular has a poo-ton of links, so get on that.

As mentioned in my last post, since Mexicans don't celebrate Thanksgiving, they've pretty much had their trees and lights up for Christmas since November 1st. To say we're behind in the game here at Casa de Gringo is an understatement.

Sunday I dragged our two VERY HEAVY tupperware containers of Christmas decorations up the stairs.

Being built into the side of a mountain, our house is almost all stairs. I'm glad that no one in this family has arthritis, and also that I seem to have superhuman strength when it comes to dragging really heavy stuff up stairs. Particularly if its really heavy stuff that I have an emotional investment in. The Christmas tree qualifies as such.

Fiance's mum would be super happy to know that I've noted a definite change in personality this year. Fiance used to be a bit of a stick in the mud about Christmas (last year I bargained to have a piddly "12 days of Christmas," and promptly thereafter took everything back down). It would seem his heart grew three sizes in the past month. I suspect because the peer pressure of his Mexican co-workers has changed his mind a little about the joy of festivity (Or festivus. Which I typed just to put that joke link in. You're welcome.) The point I'm making here is two fold: 1. Our Mexican friends are an awesome band of Whos, and 2. The day after Thanksgiving (wherein I was a sincere lump of ick while detoxing from Bubba-losing anxieties) He asked me; "Hey, I thought you would have put up all the Christmas stuff by now. What's the hold up?"

Well hey, he asked for it.

I really like decorating for the holidays. It's setting stuff up and organizing, basically. Which my OCD rattled brain can delve into for HOURS. I was that little kid that said she wanted to play "My Little Ponies," but really only wanted to spend like five hours setting up their little world. Cardboard tubes and popsicle sticks for houses, lincoln logs made up corrals, and of course there was always a plastic pizza table. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about when I say there was a plastic pizza table. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Once the set up was done, I lost all interest in making the ponies actually interact with their space. Also, as long as we're talking about childhoods, do you read "Girls With Slingshots?" (It's an online comic.) This sums up my childhood pretty succinctly:
(click it if it's too tiny to read, it'll get bigger.
Also, yes, yes I did do that to my barbies. Sorry mum.)

As my devoted 'helpers' looked on...

like two peas in a pod. a pod which is on a couch.

... I spent the afternoon fluffing up and assembling the tree, hanging lights, and plugging in the best invention in the history of ever:

I didn't get paid for that endorsement, so you know. They're just really flipping awesome.

We have a small *kinda fake* fire place right next to where our tree is, so it makes an awesome nook of Christmas Joy. But above the fire place was a little bare. Cue today's internet tutorial:

(click picture to see the tut)

Now, I don't scrapbook, so I didn't have the fancy BIG papers like the original poster (though if you're so inclined, she has a link to her own etsy monster* where you can buy a pre-arranged pack of paper from her for this project), but I do have a calendar of one-a-day-origami papers that have sadly in the past few months, largely gone unfolded. Challenge accepted.

I selected 12 sheets from the calendar that were green, red or yellow, and differing patterns. Then I paired them up and glued them back to back (I didn't want instructions for how to make a little paper frog showing on the finished product)

Then I stuck them under some heavy board games to dry flatly, and went to take care of some other items. (I am compelled to note that Fiance owned the Thomas Kinkade puzzle before we ever met. I hate the work of Thomas Kinkade and would never be so daft as to fund more of it being created through buying his chinsy puzzles. NEVER. Do you hear me Tommy-boy? Your 'art pieces' are over-processed, cheapened Bob Ross knock-offs. I said it. And I'd say it again. Happy little trees 4 LYFE.)

"some other items," in no particular order, included writing in my practice diary for the Spanish classes Fiance and I are taking (I'm writing about getting my temporary Mexican Residency in that one... I know there's probably a ton of typos, that's the point, our tutor will school me on 'em), day dreaming about the min-pin puppy at the local pet store and thinking how awesome it would be to have a Mini-Mac, and filling my cup with coffee from the third pot so far today. Caffeine problem? No. Not me.

The rest was pretty easy from there. I'm super pleased with the result, and it all took maybe an hour including the dry time for the glue. Now that it's hung up, I like that there's something in the space, but I might make a second, smaller one to fill the space just a little bit more. For now though, Christmas portraits!

Mac, in his handsome Christmas Jingle-Bell collar from my mum.
Looking slightly worried because...

Bubs was super in the mood for playing tag. And he plays with nails. So he may need a re-shoot once he gets the piss and vinegar out of his system. Stay tuned for that.

Now that Christmas cheer is officially established in the house, I'm back to other crafty-crafts. I had a second attempt at slippers (you may remember the first pair I tried my hand at here). These look cute with jeans while I bop around the house, but I still haven't quite figured out the right formula for proper footwear. I've decided to give up for the time being and put "silly" slippers on my Christmas list.

Lately we've had some date nights, because Fiance had some time off from work over Thanksgiving, which was SUPER nice. I'd like to provide some date night-reflections:

1. Great date idea - Go to a sushi restaurant. Sit at the bar and watch the sushi chef work for a few minutes in total awe (it's REALLY interesting. Promise). Order two rolls that you know you're going to like, strike up a conversation with the chef while he works. After that, tell him you want a surprise. Whatever he wants to make. IT WILL BE AMAZING, GUARANTEED.
We've done this twice now, and we will do it again. It's great.

2. While driving home from a date night, we stopped at a stop sign (Fiance might not like that I'm going to share this story, but I promise, it's not throwing him under a bus, it's more endearing than anything.). It is really common here that people sell stuff at street corners, and this one was no different. The man who approached our window was selling roses, and asked Fiance if he'd like to buy me some, in Spanish. Fiance politely declined, and then in Spanish, the peddler said "What, don't you love her?"

It was a quick sentence, and it had been a long day, and so I don't blame him for what came next. But Fiance hadn't caught/ understood the question, and so his reply to "don't you love her?" was "No, no thank you." And we drove away. I had just enough time to make eye contact with the peddler as he looked at me and shrugged a "well that sucks for you. sorry." kind of look.

I think it's the look I got from the dude that effected me, more than Fiance's actual response, because I knew what had happened. But last week I finally spilled what was on my mind. And Fiance, because he's awesome, dutifully followed up with three straight days of flowers.

What happens next? Does the hippo see them? Is the poor, mute zebu successful in communicating the imminent danger to the other passengers?!

You'll just have to stay tuned.

Bye bye moo moo, bye bye moo moo, bye bye moo moo, zebu.

if you haven't been checking out those links like I told you to, you're probably wicked confused right now. start clickin, you'll pick it up.

*In regards to my OWN esty monster: It's still down. I need a car before I can get reliable transportation to and from a Mexican post office when I make sales. I'm aiming for a new-year re-vamp. Keep your eyes peeled.

The second, smaller star makes it officially awesome.

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